ALICE a new reality and ‘life skill’ at Triton

ALICE Training at Triton Continues with an Evacuate Drill Last Week

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Rachel Miller

Brian Forget, the Superintant of Triton Regional School District holding his ALICE training certificate.

Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate. A terrifying thought of performing this drill in a real-life situation. 

    ALICE training is a technique for the students and staff to protect themselves from harm if an instructor walks in. “The ALICE Training program was created out of a husband’s desire for his wife to have a better plan in case of an active shooter event… It was not until a fateful conversation around the dinner table that brought the two worlds together and created the ALICE Training program.”says the Alice Training Institute. 

    Officer John Lucey, Triton High School’s resource officer describes the importance of the training.

    “It’s a long process. There’s a lot of things you have to do; there’s a lot of pieces to it. Our school is actually ahead of most schools, as far as rolling it out, which is good.” Lucey says. “And the way we decided to do it is to break down the pieces. Last year we started with barricading doors and windows, which is the enhanced lock down. The next piece we’re going to focus on is the evacuating piece, so we can figure out the quickest way you can get out of the building and ‘where do I go from here?’”

Students, as well as teachers, dread the thought of an active shooter in the building. Teachers and students are treated as equals and not as “students or teachers but as human beings” says Lucey.  This means that Students don’t necessarily have to listen to the teacher but ultimately have to work together not against each other.

A podcast called Educate produced by APM Reports, created an episode called, “Is the trauma of training for a school shooter worth it?” A school recourse officer discusses the importance of training to a group of elementary students in Ohio. He goes through the process of ALICE and how kids can protect themselves instead of sitting and waiting in the dark corner of the classroom. 

“If you can realize that you’re in any threatening situation you have to properly assists and respond.” Says the school resource officer.

Lucey prefers ALICE training over the old basic lock down procedure.

“I think it’s certainly better than just sitting, hiding, and praying in the darkest corner of the classroom like in the past,” Lucey says.

Pullquote Photo

“No plan is perfect. Every situation is going to be different. It’s a very chaotic situation to talk about.””

— Officer Lucey

The most recent school shooting in Santa Clarita Saugus High School left two dead and more injured. The school only had two things to protect them in an active shooter situation, a school resource officer and metal detectors. The students and staff of Saugus High School did not practice ALICE or any version of it. Depending on the circumstances of the shooting, would there be a different outcome or would it stay the same? 

“Critics of ALICE say it can cause undue anxiety among students, in preparation for an event that few will ever have to confront. As of 2016, almost 95 percent of students in U.S. public schools practice some sort of lock down drill according to the National Center for Education Statistics,” says APM Reports on the Hechinger Report.

Many questions are asked to the ALICE training institute. How often should training be conducted? Is confronting an intruder a part of my job? The training institute provides answers for any ALICE related question.

“The more a plan is practiced and stakeholders are trained on the plan, the more effectively they will be able to act during an emergency to lessen the impact on life. Exercises provide opportunities to practice with community partners (local emergency responders) as well as to identify gaps and weaknesses in the plan.” Says the official ALICE website. “Confronting a violent intruder should never be required in any non law enforcement job description. How each staff member chooses to respond if directly confronted by a violent intruder is up to them.”

Schools all around America have practice any sort of safety drill, but ALICE has sky rocketed to save more lives in serious danger.